Did you know that some of the recipes I post have been weeks or even months in the making? This is one of them. Sometimes I go through periods where I would cook up a storm, and create and test several recipes at the same time.
They sit there until I have the time to post them, or as backup content in case I run into any problem and cannot work for a while.
I gotta be honest with you, this is a recipe inspired by one of my favorite soups in one of my favorite restaurants, I always order it when I go there, and decided I wanted to create my homemade version.
But why “sancocho“?
Well, here’s another confession: this soup has a lot of in common with our beloved meaty stew, most notably the some of the roots and plantain, but there’s also a lot difference when it comes to taste, and cooking method. Please don’t hold that against me.
Anyway, I am sure you won’t once you try it.
This is the perfect time of the year for soups, especially the long-cooking ones. I seriously recommend this “sancocho” de mariscos (shellfish stew) loaded with the flavors of the sea, thick and hearty. And whatever ails you these days, this is the soup to warm your bones or lift your spirits. Heaven knows we all need that sometimes.
- 3 lb [1.4 kg] of large whole shrimp
- 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 4 cloves of garlic , crushed
- 2 unripe plantains , peeled and sliced
- 1.5 lb [0.7 kg] of auyama (West Indies pumpkin), peeled and cubed, divided
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of waxy potatoes , peeled and cubed
- 2 lb [0.9 kg] of assorted shellfish and seafood (see notes)
- 1 sprig of cilantro
- 1 teaspoon of lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
Shell the shrimp and separate shells/heads from the rest. Return shrimp to the refrigerator.
Boil the shells and heads over low heat in 2 quarts [2 lt] of water for 45 mins, frequently replenishing the water to maintain the same level.
Sieve to separate the liquid from the solids. Discard the solids.
Heat broth over medium heat, add oregano, thyme and garlic.
Add the plantains and half the pumpkin to the liquid and boil until everything is cooked through (10-15 mins). Add water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Discard the thyme and blend until all the solids have dissolved.
Heat this mixture and add the potatoes and remaining pumpkin, simmering over low heat until the solids are cooked through.
Add the shellfish and shrimp tails. Simmer until the shrimp turns bright pink (5-10 mins).
Stir in cilantro and lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.